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Managing an outsourcing team: best Agile practices

People who have not really tried mobile app development outsourcing are often doubtful, even afraid of it. That’s right, the idea to entrust your precious and brilliant project into the hands of some total strangers abroad may seem ridiculous. Unless of course you know how to deal with it in the right way, that you understand the risks involved and that you know how to manage those risks. The key tool for that is successful project management.

Eastern Peak Software mobile app development

Outsourcing software or mobile app development has become insanely fashionable in recent years. The process of globalization has opened people’s eyes and minds. They have begun to understand that you no longer have to maintain an in-house team. The mobile app development company Eastern Peak Software knows for a fact that outsourcing is much cheaper to employ someone in an area with a lower price for living. Furthermore, in this way your search for skills will not be restricted.

However, even when entrepreneurs opt for outsourcing, most understand that there are some risks involved and this can cause some hesitation, especially when dealing with freelancers. They can disappear without any notice or they can let you down in some unpredictable way. Logically, the risk is lower when you work with a mobile app development company. They provide a fully established team. A missing person can easily be replaced.

So the mobile app development outsourcing options are: a small, mid-size or large company or a group of freelancers. Mobile app development companies are considered to be more responsible and easier to deal with, especially for the recruiting and HR departments. It is safer because they provide all the necessary documentation and all the processes are transparent. It can be less customized, but on the other hand they are more reasonable, as they usually offer a wider range of services, not only coding.

Choosing between different company sizes is influenced by some core factors. For instance, working with a large company will give you unlimited access to different specialists. They can easily work part-time or be replaced if you are not happy with them. However, big enterprises are quite rigid in terms of their working process and rarely can provide an individualized approach. Mid-size companies are a golden middle here.

With mobile app developers freelancers, the administrative issues are not covered, the risks are high and you have to find and interview all specialists separately. The good point is that you’re the boss, you’re in control of everything.

Effective outsourcing project management practice

When it comes to choosing an outsourcing PM strategy, Agile fits perfectly. With its risk-management and flexibility, it becomes truly invaluable while outsourcing. Agile implies working in short (2 to four weeks) iterations, each containing the stages of: design, development, testing and reviewing.

Thus all the parties of the mobile app development process have to collaborate. They communicate constantly throughout the lifecycle of each iteration, during daily scrums or sprint plannings. They are trying to point out all the problems whenever they arise. Constant feedback ensures that all the measures are taken at once. It considerably boosts the quality of the end product. It also enables keeping up with the latest advancements in your industry.

Agile implements a non-stop testing procedure. Such regular check-ups leave no chance for bugs to survive, they are all found and fixed. Moreover, because the product is continually tested, the project is more likely to be launched on time. As a result, the main advantage of this methodology is a significant risk reduction.

As a management strategy, Agile efficiently eliminates various troubles typical for mobile app development outsourcing. It helps organize fruitful daily communication and co-working, regardless of the distances. Working in sprints is perfect for coordinating the efforts, reviewing the results and working on the obstacles together. Consequently, both in-house and outsourced teams work as a whole.

Communication with an outsourcing team

Those who outsource software development for the first time are afraid of communication issues, when the teams aren’t native speakers and there are cultural and mindset differences. The geographical distance and time zones make it even worse. This is basically what project managers’ deal with.

To simplify Agile communication even more, there exist a number of tools. They are divided into communication and collaboration tools. For example, you can organize video conferences (Skype), teleconferences (Sonexis) and discussions, chat with your employees from all around the world. You can share the documents (Google Docs, Dropbox), make and share screenshots (Jing, GoToMeeting), manage your invoices (Freshbooks) or track your workers’ time (Time Doctor).

An outsourcing team, Eastern peak Software

Moreover, there are some helpful tools which combine all features into one. Being like virtual office managers, they all seem to have been created especially for outsourcing. Tools such as Basecamp, Slack, Trello offer task-creating and controlling functions. They are also equipped with time tracking and file-sharing options. The famous Atlassian Jira even provides users with a bug-tracking system and ready-made environments, applicable for different PM methodologies, not only Agile.

Apart from a geographical distance, there is also a “mental distance”, which cannot be covered with the use of any modern technologies. Only good old fashioned personal meetings can solve this problem and establish trust. When you meet a person face-to-face it is easier to explain your thoughts, to pass on your enthusiasm and inspiration.

Despite the overall misconception that mobile app development outsourcing may seem hard at first sight, it does have many benefits. They can be obtained if all the outsourcing processes are well-managed by an experienced and professional project manager. This is what flexible and lean Agile methodology can help with. As you can see, there is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, outsourcing can offer more opportunities, open new horizons and provide a broader perspective for your business.

Company’s size specifics

Companies to outsource mobile app development, Eastern Peak Software

Agile methodology principles

  • Avoiding risks
  • Designers, developers and testers are constantly consulting with each other
  • On-going testing
  • Full transparency and interaction with a client
  • Timely bug fixing and additions
  • Focus on the product quality instead of the cost

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